Nelson Bennett pitched a complete-game shutout as Lake Village defeated Pine Bluff’s Optimist 9-0 on Saturday in the Kimber Hill/Braves 15-Under Slamfest Tournament at Taylor Field.
“He kept them off balance with his change up and he had a great curveball and he was locating his fastball well,” Optimist manager Kenn Dickson said.
Bennett allowed just four hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Optimist then lost to Camden 7-3 in a loser’s bracket game.
Optimist broke up a no-hitter in the fourth when Scott Taylor and Andrew Morgan led off with a pair of singles.
Taylor made it to third but Morgan would be thrown out at second. Bennett escaped the jam by striking out two of the next three batters.
“When you have a 15-year-old pitcher on the mound like Lake Village had, with all that experience and the youth that we have, it is tough,” Dickson said. “We put it in play, but they also had a great shortstop.”
Through the first three innings, Lake Village’s Jaelin Thomas was responsible for four of the nine outs. At one point, Dickson asked his team to “stop hitting it to him.”
“He made some heck of some plays,” Dickson said. “We put it in play, hit away from them and they went and got it.
“They were just better team today.”
On Friday, Optimist defeated Pine Bluff’s Brown Chiropractic 2-1 in the late game. Optimist is missing three players for this tournament including ace starters Ja’Kobi Jackson and Aaron Frazier, who are playing in an AAU tournament in Little Rock.
“They will be back with us for the rest of the season and the state tournament, but they are just not here for this tournament,” Dickson said.
Lake Village took a 6-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning.
With one out, Ashton Scott hit a double and scored on an infield single by Lane Daley. He would later score after a stolen base and an error that allowed Landon Pieroni to reach first.
Pieroni scored after he stole home, jumping over the catcher who was trying to make the tag.
“They were well coached, they executed and won the ball game,” Dickson said.
Lake Village scored three more runs in the top of the sixth thanks to a two-run double by Nelson Bennett and an RBI single by Ashton Scott.
For Optimist, Trent Goodman takes the loss after just two innings of work. He allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits with one walk and no strikeouts.
Morgan pitched four innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
“We are out of pitchers,” Dickson said. “Our two starting aces are in Little Rock today, so we have to go with the third and fourth string pitchers.
“I don’t know how much gas we are going to have for the next game.”
For Lake Village, Thomas finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs and Scott was 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Daley – who was picked up from Hamburg so Lake Village could have a full squad – finished the game 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI.
For Optimist, Griffen Penny, Taylor, Morgan and Mike Boyd were the only ones to pick up hits.
Camden 6, Brown Chiropractic 5
Camden survived in the final game of Saturday’s slate and will await the Hamburg/Lake Village loser in today’s loser’s bracket final.
E.J. Holmes led Camden with a solo home run and went 2 for 3. Ladaren Franklin took the win on the mound.
Brown had advanced by defeating the Pine Bluff Phillies 9-2.
Hamburg 9, PB Phillies 3
In Saturday’s first game, Dakotah Stafford launched a three-run homer and Darius Prite went 2 for 2 in leading Hamburg past the Phillies. Darien Burns earned the win on the mound.
For Pine Bluff, Rayshun Blake went 2 for 2.
PB Phillies 9, Camden 5 (Fri.)
In Friday’s first-round win, Rayshawn Blake went 2 for 3 to lead the Phillies, Percy Snellings had two hits and Floyd Allen took the win on the mound.
Optimist 2, Brown Chiropractic 1 (Fri.)
Blake Phillips went 1 for 2 with two runs batted in, leading Optimist to the other first-round victory Friday.
Trent Marshall was the winning pitcher.
Kimber Hill/Braves 15-Under Slamfest
At Taylor Field
• Pine Bluff Phillies 9, Camden 5
• Optimist 2, Brown Chiropractic 1
• Hamburg 9, Pine Bluff Phillies 3
• Lake Village 9, Optimist 0
• Brown Chiropractic 9, Pine Bluff Phillies 2 (Phillies eliminated)
• Camden 7, Optimist 3 (Optimist eliminated)
• Camden 6, Brown Chiropractic 5 (Brown eliminated)
• Winner’s bracket final: Hamburg vs. Lake Village, 11 a.m.
• Loser’s bracket final: Camden vs. Hamburg/Lake Village loser, 1 p.m.
• Championship, 3 p.m. (second game, if necessary, at 5 p.m.)